Top 5 Joint Care Tips for Dogs of all Ages
Joint health can be a big issue for those of us with dogs, especially the larger breeds. Providing our pups with great joint support can help them live their happiest, best lives for as long as possible. These 5 joint care tips will help pups of all ages, sizes, and breeds.
Does your dog have joint pain?
Unfortunately, our dogs can’t talk, so it’s difficult to know whether or not they are suffering from joint problems. Here are some common signs your dog might require some extra support.
- Your dog may have trouble going up or down flights of stairs.
- He needs more time to move from lying down to sitting or standing.
- He’s not as excited about walks or playtime.
- He has trouble jumping or getting on/off furniture.
If you’ve noticed changes like these, your dog may be telling you that it’s time to start supporting his joints a bit more. Even if your dog doesn’t yet show signs of joint issues, you can still act preventatively to help keep him feeling young and healthy for as long as possible. Here are 5 easy ways to get started.
Joint supplements for dogs
Yes, it’s true. Just like with aging humans, dogs can benefit from high-quality joint supplements. These products contain things like cartilage, glucosamine, and chondroitin. The body uses these ingredients to build cartilage and replace synovial fluid in joints. This helps increase flexibility for our pups, making it easier for them to run, jump, and play.
If you decide to add a joint supplement to your dog’s daily health regimen, be sure to choose one designed for dogs. While human products do have similar ingredients, they’re present in different concentrations, so sharing from your own medicine cabinet is not going to provide your dog with what he needs.
Besides, doggie joint supplements typically taste like treats, so your dog will really look forward to taking them each day!
Manage your dog’s weight
This might seem obvious, but it’s important to discuss because 56% of American dogs are either overweight or obese. While a few extra pounds may not seem like a big deal, remember that one extra pound for our dogs is like 5 extra pounds for us humans. Keeping our dogs at their ideal weight is one of the easiest ways we have to care for their joints.
Feeding a high-quality food is an excellent way to manage their weight. However, if your dog does have a few extra pounds to lose, there is a weight loss supplement available called Slim Paws. Slim paws consists of safe, natural ingredients and is the first scientifically proven weight loss supplement for dogs. If you would like help getting your dog’s weight back to where it should be, feel free to consult your veterinarian for assistance. This health tip alone can add years to his life and provide joint relief as well.
Add Omega-3s to your dog’s diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids can do a lot for your dog’s joint health. They help reduce stiffness and tenderness while also supporting joint lubrication. You can find Omega-3 essential fatty acids in certain fish, like salmon, mackerel, halibut, or other cold-water fish. Another alternative is simply purchasing fish oil and putting a tablespoon over your dog’s food each morning.
The best source of Omega-3s though is green-lipped mussels. In addition to Omega-3s, green-lipped mussels contain lots of other good things including chondroitin, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Vets love these little guys, and they are in a number of high-quality joint supplements.
Keep your dog moving.
One of the worst things we can do for our dog’s joint pain is to indulge their desire to lie around the house. Low impact exercise keeps joints moving, which restore and preserve both flexibility and strength. It can also increase range of motion, improve blood flow to the tissue surrounding joints, and keep that excess weight off. The only problem is that if our dogs are feeling pain, they’re probably not going to go crazy with excitement when the leash comes out.
One way to address this is to change up the type of exercise we do with our dogs. Swimming is one excellent plan, especially if your dog likes water already. Doggie massage is another way to help move those achy joints without causing your dog further discomfort. We recommend seeking out a professional canine massage therapist or even a chiropractor in your home area for best results. Try to keep your dog walking, if possible, even if you attempt other exercises. Joint health is a lose it or lose it kind of thing, so it’s essential that you get out. Whether you walk to the park, around the neighborhood, or just take a leisurely stroll around the yard, leash walks relieve stress for your dog and help occupy his mind. Just be sure to keep your dog’s individual limitations in mind.
Use natural surfaces when possible.
Many vets recommend playing with your dog on natural surfaces like grass, sand, or soil. These surfaces are much softer than asphalt or concrete, which means your dog’s joints won’t need to absorb as much impact, which will make exercising easier on your dog. This will help your dog, and you, enjoy time outside for longer periods.
We know joint pain is a very common ailment in dogs, especially with large breeds, but there are a lot of ways you can help your best friend stay healthy and happy, even into his golden years. With just a bit of time and commitment on your end, your dog can live his very best life for years to come.